Eddie Pensier writes:
New Zealand brand Stolen Rum has a hipster origin story for the ages: inspired by a Jim Jarmusch movie.
Instead of the usual fruitcakey sorts of spices that flavor a spiced rum, Stolen decided to make theirs smell of what I imagine the back-bar of a grungy 70s downtown rock club smelled like at 6am…rum, coffee and cigarettes, just like it says on the bottle. Definitely not your average spiced Sailor Jerry or Captain Morgan. This is surely no sophisticated pipey “tobacco” note but rather the grey, ashy smell of cheap or badly handmade cigarettes with too high a ratio of paper to tobacco.
What a surprise then, that the coffee note is the smooth player in this mix. Not bitter overroasted coffee, but a nice medium-roast that when combined with the rum’s own inherent caramel-molasses-vanilla notes produces an interesting Frappucino-ish effect. Imagine a 38% alcohol Frappuccino into which you have accidentally extinguished your Marlboro, but you, you badass rock star you, wouldn’t let something like that ruin your drink.
It should be noted that the Coffee & Cigarettes I’m drinking is the censored version. Australia apparently gave Stolen some grief over the wording on the label, so in a fit of pique combined with a marketing masterstroke, they scribbled out the label and renamed it “Spiced”. They underproofed it too: this one has 37.5% abv, too weak to legally be sold as “rum” in the USA.
I’m enjoying my Stolen
Coffee & Cigarettes Spiced over ice or splashed with soda, but I’m going to start mixing it with stuff soon. Time will tell if it manages to overcome the “hey, this isn’t as gross as I thought it would be!” novelty hurdle.